Pratik completed his graduation in electronics and communications engineering in 2016. Today, after six years, he is a front-end engineer, despite having no relevant degree in the field.
Pratik had managed to get a job at TCS as an SAP analyst through college placements. But, he was not happy with his job. So after one and a half years, he decided to quit his job. Driven by his passion to serve the country, Pratik then started preparing for the UPSC Examination. But, he was not able to clear it.
Meanwhile, Pratik’s family was in dire need of money. So, he decided to drop all his plans and took up a non-technical job at Jio as a service executive. Along with the job, he was also preparing for various government examinations like SSC CGL. But, he was forced to rethink his plans when the pandemic hit in 2020 because all the exams were either delayed or cancelled.
All these years, Pratik’s love for programming was always there. And, that brought him to the decision to join a coding boot camp for a full-stack web development course. After research for days, he finally decided to join Masai School. That proved to be the turning point in his career.
In a recent interview with Pratik, he sheds light on a career switch, the importance of communication skills, and much more.
How did you discover Masai School? How did you trust it after investing so many years somewhere else?
Around January, I realized that to progress further, I would need guidance, especially if I wanted to build my career in the IT Sector. I discussed it with my friends and they suggested I start with HTML. But, that did not go well. I realized that without proper guidance I’d never be able to become a web developer.
And then, one of my friends suggested that I join a coding boot camp. I started to explore 8-10 boot camps and researched extensively for ten days. I spoke with the alumni of all those boot camps on LinkedIn. Finally, I joined Masai School in June 2021.
My trust was solidified within one month of joining. And, I am glad that I made that decision. I can not think of a substantial career without Masai. I would not be earning even 1/4th of what I am earning currently.
What do you think about the Pay After Placement?
The best thing about PAP is that you do not have to pay anything initially. Three lakhs, two lakhs, or even just one lakh is a huge amount of money for 90% of people. So, if they have to pay this amount initially, they will never be able to manage that. But, through this ‘pay after placement’ model, the barrier is removed and anyone, no matter how poor they are, can start learning without paying a penny.
What is your opinion on the 9-9-6 training schedule at Masai?
It is necessary to prepare us for the corporate culture. Your job will not be limited to a certain time frame in the day. You will have to be ready to deal with clients at any time. This method prepares us for that.
It teaches us to not sit idle and to get out of our comfort zone. Now, when I am free, I feel bad. 9-9-6 developed the habit of being productive all the time.
Which projects did you build during Construct Weeks? And how did they help you?
For the third project, we had built a clone of Cult.fit, using the MERN stack. We achieved the third rank among our batch.
These projects gave us an edge over others during our interviews. When I showed these projects to the interviewers, they were mighty impressed. These projects have given us the practical knowledge and collaboration skills required to excel at our workplace.
How was the placement process at Masai School?
At the same time, I met a friend of mine who worked at ION Energy. Out of nowhere, casually and unintentionally, I discovered a vacancy in his company that was fit for me. When I read the Job Description, I was tempted to join that company. So, I went through the interview and cracked it. This was unplanned. I joined ION Energy mainly because it is based in Mumbai.
It was the learnings from Masai School that helped me crack those interviews. The projects that we built during Construct Weeks were especially impressive for the interviewer from ION Energy.
What is your message to the students of Masai School?
Your life at Masai School will be a roller coaster ride. You will doubt yourself a lot of times. But, trust yourself and focus on your strengths. You will also doubt Masai School at times. But, just trust the process and keep working hard. In the end, everything will make sense.
First, work on your strengths, when you feel low. This will boost your confidence. Do not worry about your weaknesses at the lowest point of your life. And, when you are in a good mood, introspect about your flaws. This is a method I have been using since my days of preparing for UPSC and college days, to balance confidence and underconfidence.
Also, work on your communication skills. Do not ignore sessions that teach you soft skills. That is extremely important during interviews. If you can not articulate what you know, you will struggle to crack interviews.
What separates Masai School from other institutes?
I am not aware of any institute that is on par with Masai School in curriculum and teaching methods. Masai School is industry-oriented and its focus is on polishing the skills necessary for today’s industry. From data structure and algorithms to programming, Masai School does not miss anything. That rarely happens in any institute.
Apart from coding and DSA, Masai also works on improving the life skills of its students. Sessions like Skillathon help students in overall personality development and not just coding. Masai School teaches the art of articulation. These are fundamental needs for getting a job. This separates Masai School from other institutes.
Do you think it is worth paying three lakhs to Masai School?
Before joining Masai School, three lakhs seemed a lot of money to be paid for just six months. But, after seeing the amount of effort Masai puts in, and after getting a job because of the learnings I acquired, three lakhs seems a very reasonable amount.
For an outsider, Masai might not be that fascinating. But, only the people inside know the efforts that go in to keep this institute running. The trickiest part for the management is placements. It is not as easy as it seems. So, the fees they collect keep this giant machine running, and it is totally worth it.
Would you recommend Masai to people who are looking to upskill themselves?
I have already recommended Masai to a lot of people including my cousins.
People reach out to me on social media too asking about the program. A few months ago, I was in their place, when I was asking questions to the alumni. Now, I am the one who is answering these questions. And, it makes me so happy.
What is your message to the people who call Masai School a scam?
These are the people who never bother to educate themselves about coding boot camps, pay after placement, or institutes like Masai School. All they do is bash institutes while being ignorant about the working of such genuine institutes.
Even, I read answers on Quora where people called it a scam. But I did not believe it immediately. I did my research and educated myself. That is how you become rational. I would advise people to carry out their research, rather than relying on other people’s opinions.
I think these are also the people who did not work hard while being at Masai School. The first warning that I used to get from alumni was that I will have to work hard during the 7-month program. And, it is true. If you can not work hard, you should not join Masai.
The best thing to do is to ignore such people and do your research before forming any decision.